In December, we reported how one of the most popular stars of “Star Trek: Discovery” left the show after an episode where she led a group of young cadets. In that post, we reported on the rumblings that Tilly (Mary Wiseman) might be the person which a new “Starfleet Academy” show could be built around.
Now, thanks to reporting from Deadline, we know a little bit more about this show, which we won’t call “rumored” anymore. Thanks to an article written by Peter White, Dominic Patten, and Nellie Andreeva, fans know that “Starfleet Academy” is definitely now in the works.
“A new offshoot, ‘Star Trek: Starfleet Academy,’ is in development at CBS Studios and Alex Kurtzman’s studio-based Secret Hideout for the ViacomCBS streamer,” the article reported. “Sharing a name with the late 1990s video game, the series is set among the college of cadets mentored for leadership roles in the United Federation of Planets space force.”
“It will be pitched to Paramount+ shortly, and the hope is to get it going in the next year,” the article reported.
Starfleet Academy Video Game
In August of 2021, the New York Times profiled Kurtzman, who said that they were working on both the “Starfleet Academy” idea and the “Section 31” show, which would star actress and “Discovery” alum Michelle Yeoh.
“I think we’re just getting started,” Kurtzman told writer Nicole Sperling during the interview. “There’s just so much more to be had.”
According to the article, this planned show would be aimed at a younger audience. In the Season 4 episode where Tilly worked with the young cadets (“All Is Possible”), nearly all of the trainees were supposed to be in their early 20s, which would trend younger than a standard Starfleet crew.
Third Time the Charm?
This is not the first time that Paramount or CBS has attempted to take advantage of the fertile ground that the Academy might provide. In fact, one of Gene Roddenberry’s original ideas to bring Trek back to television was via a show about students.
Before the successful launch of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Paramount considered the idea.
The show was being developed by Sam and Greg Strangis, who intended for it to be called “Star Trek: The New Adventure.”
“My premise was relatively simple: It was a time when, in the future in the existing ‘Star Trek,’ the Klingons weren’t enemies anymore and were allies,” Greg Strangis told The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine. “I wanted to create Starfleet Academy on a ship.”
Obviously, that show concept did not happen, as Trek creator Gene Roddenberry got heavily involved and gave us “The Next Generation.”
Legendary Trek producer Harve Bennett also explored creating a version of the academy, which he wanted to reboot the film series. His concept, “The Academy Years,” was supposed to restart everything after the box office failure “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.” Paramount decided not to make a reboot just yet. Instead, they brought Nick Meyer in for “The Undiscovered Country,” which would be the final film featuring the TOS cast.
Some of those Academy ideas were used in “Star Trek (2009)” by J.J. Abrams.
While there is no official word from Paramount, Wiseman, or even Deadline if Tilly will be back in action for a “Starfleet Academy” show, Tilly’s story seems to have more pages left. Toward the end of “All Is Possible,” the character stepped away from the “Discovery” and her friends to teach at a new, upstart academy. Wiseman said that she’d be back on that show before too long.
“You will see Tilly again before the end of the season,” Wiseman told Inverse. “Don’t worry.”